Fed by your plants

Michael James speaking with a patron at the clinic.

As long as Barbadians continue to feed their plants, they will keep feeding them says Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Michael James.

He was this morning speaking at a plant clinic at the Glebe Playing Field in St. George as the Barbados recognised World Food Day.

James told Barbados TODAY that Barbadians had become more passionate and were becoming more educated about plants however he said there was much education still to be done to promote better caring for plants.

He said that most Barbadians had either a lime tree or coconut tree in their yards and these trees would sometimes have blight, not knowing how to treat the disease they would cut the tree down but the clinic was there to inform those people of how to care plants in such cases.

This morning many people took that opportunity and they brought from garden plant to a citrus fruit to be diagnosed in a free consultation. One of the problems which continued to plaque vegetation in Barbados, he said, was people travelling and “easing” plants in. In doing this, they may bring in some type of pest, be it a disease or insect, and he urged people to bring such plants to the clinic to be diagnosed and treated.

“The plant clinic has been set up as a way of gathering information for the Ministry of Agriculture to find out exactly what are the problems out there. We can’t get to everybody so this is a way to bring people out and to bring their problems to us so we can identify them. The clinic allows you to get a better knowledge of the problems that occur because everything is not a disease some things might be nutritional; in relation to you are not feeding it the right fertilizer.

“I would advise them to treat plants like they would treat themselves and youngsters, for them to produce they have to get something. Don’t just say that is the ground there, that is the earth it will keep on producing, you have to treat them as if you want to make them live long. You have a mango tree and it gives you mangoes for 15 years and then the year it doesn’t you want to cut it down. You might be dealing with blight and nutritional problems and some nutritional problems might be seen as diseases. It’s like you, if you don’t eat the right foods you will be more prone to diseases- the same thing with plants.

During the celebration there were a variety of local foods such as: cassava pone and fish cakes on sale. The Pig farmers Association and the Barbados 4-H Club were also present and Seaman entertained on saxophone. (KC)

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